Melissa Witheriff, Regional Innovation Lead, Australia, Avanade reports on tech trends for 2022. Here are her predictions.
2021 has seen an unprecedented acceleration of technology adoption by every industry. This adoption was a catalyst for innovation and change which unlocked growth. It created a positive impact for people, communities, businesses, organisations, and the planet.
In 2021, we also saw the expedited implementation of cloud technology which enabled the creation of hybrid and remote workforces. This has shaped enormous cultural change as organisations rethink the way they do business. The cultural change is also impacting organisations who are now facing the ‘Great Resignation’ or ‘The Great Reshuffle’ – a rise in employees choosing to depart from their roles, rethinking priorities, as well as challenge the traditional bounds and definitions of work. This creates a growing requirement for a modern workplace, flexible workspaces, and a culture that is not only dynamic but blended to align with employees’ lifestyle choices and needs – an expectation that will have implications in the future.
In this environment, employee retention will continue to be a challenge; one that is exacerbated by the difficulty in hiring new talent to fill open positions. As a result, we expect 2022 to see a shift across industries towards workplaces that enable far greater collaboration between more diverse groups. We will also see technology adoption blurring traditional roles more than ever before.
One of the best examples of this trend is the growth in Low-Code / No-Code (LCNC). With Australia facing an IT skills shortage, LCNC platforms enable employers to tap into their current pool of talent, expand their potential, and create the space for employees to grow their capabilities further. With LCNC, employees who do not possess technical backgrounds can innovate, rapidly ideate, and create software to solve business challenges for their customers and within their organisations. For example, human resources (HR) and finance teams can create their own onboarding tools, surveys, training assets or a new management portal, with minimal coding.
Another positive by-product of LCNC is that it paves the way for organisations to leverage the diversity of its workforce. We know that a diverse workforce performs better, attracts and retains more employees, as well as innovates with more purpose and impact. At Avanade, we create spaces for our people to innovate. We enable our people with diverse skillsets and perspectives to collaborate on critical problems worth solving. One example of this is !nnovateFest, – an annual event which serves as a platform for employees to ideate, design and validate prototypes, and submit their proposals for new products or services that can be incubated further into an industrialised offering. This demonstrates our commitment to continuous innovation, culture of learning, and celebrating diversity of thought.
Secondly, we cannot talk about innovation, collaboration, and the future of technology without addressing the metaverse and its potential to change the way we engage at work. We know that the incorporation of virtual meeting and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams have redefined our professional relationships, the boundaries of the workplace, and how we work. Through these innovations, it is now easier to translate the office environment into a digital service; however, the metaverse is set to take technology as we know it one step further.
The metaverse will create a single platform, accessible by everyone, and offer a viable adjacency to physical workspaces. Employees and users can interact with each other in real time using avatars, all while overcoming the limitations which may have previously prevented them from working. For example, an individual with a chronic illness who was previously unable to attend a traditional office space due to health concerns, will be able to do so by using their digital avatar.
2022 and beyond will see a brand-new world of work, which demands a holistic workplace approach for survival and growth. Shared technology, data platforms and cloud-based systems will enable high value collaboration and innovation. To be future ready, organisations will need to combine business context, employee experience, and emerging technology seamlessly into the workplace.